Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sunday, Three Years Later

I wake up to my phone ringing at 6AM. My client is in labor, experiencing strong contractions every 7 minutes.

She had called me three years earlier, also on a Sunday morning. Her contractions were mild, but steady, about 10 minutes apart. She went to church, ate lunch, went for a walk. I joined them mid-afternoon, and she was admitted to L&D at 8cm. She began pushing once fully dilated. And pushing. And pushing. And pushing. She pushed for 2 hours, and the baby budged not at all, and in the moments before dawn, she delivered her baby via C-section.

That was the very first birth I had ever attended. I have never forgotten her, always wondering if my inexperience contributed to her c-section.

And some thirty births later, she sits on a birthing stool, leaning on her husband for support, one hand on a squeeze bar, the other hand powerfully gripping mine. In the expanse of the room, we huddle in the corner, hospital bed pushed out of the way. Her OB catches her baby while half-crouching, half-lying on the floor. Via a well-placed mirror, the mother and father watch their beautiful daughter come into the world -- an unmedicated, spontaneous, vaginal birth after cesaerean -- and all the wondering is gone.